Large US-Mexico Truck Crossing to Reopen in Texas

Commercial Traffic Was Suspended in May 2017
Marcelino Serna Port of Entry
About 300 trucks weekly are expected to pass through Marcelino Serna once trade there resumes starting Aug. 7. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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A Mexico border crossing in Texas for commercial truck traffic will reopen after six years starting Aug. 7 to provide an alternative to the Juarez-El Paso land ports of entry.

Located 17 miles east of El Paso, the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry (originally called the Tornillo-Guadalupe border crossing) in Tornillo, Texas, soon will resume handling commercial vehicle traffic, announced Ray Provencio, acting director of field operation at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

About 300 trucks weekly are expected to pass through Marcelino Serna once trade there resumes starting Aug. 7. At first, the cargo facility will operate Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but hours may change depending on demand.

Commercial traffic has been suspended since May 2017 due to limited traffic despite opening a year earlier at the 117-acre facility billed as the nation’s largest land border port of entry. It had been built to replace a nearby Fabens Port of Entry and international bridge to handle commercial, passenger and pedestrian traffic.

Ray Provencio


Although the port often is referred to by its old name (the Tornillo Port of Entry), it was renamed in 2017 after Marcelino Serna, from El Paso, who became the most decorated World War I veteran from Texas, and has remained opened for pedestrians and passenger vehicles.

In June, U.S. government officials decided to reopen the port for truck traffic after Mexican officials made a request due to completion of the Samalayuca toll road that opened a new highway in Mexico for cars and trucks traveling from the northern Chihuahua state directly to the border at Marcelino Serna.

“This state-of-the-art port was built with the future in mind and can be expanded to meet the demand of the trade community,” Provencio said July 21. “CBP stands ready to meet the growing needs of international trade in our region while also maintaining our vital homeland security mission.”

Marcelino Serna sign

 The Marcelino Serna port has facilities to support commercial traffic and inspections. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The Marcelino Serna port has facilities to support commercial traffic and inspections such as a commercial building, 10 covered commercial docks, two primary inspection booths with a canopy and bypass lane. It also has an area for hazardous materials containment, a bulk cargo bin, agriculture quarantine inspection facilities, kennel facilities, a heliport and communications tower.

To improve cargo shipments, the six-lane bridge features single lanes (from the three in each direction) only for commercial vehicles. The bridge spans 1,274 feet and is 94 feet wide. The land port also has allocated 272 acres for future expansions as new border facilities are needed. The site area also contains 22 acres reserved for Texas and federal truck safety inspection stations.


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The new Samalayuca toll road to the land port enables traffic to and from Mexico to bypass busy El Paso border entry crossings with the city of Juarez, Mexico.

According to CBP, officers at its El Paso field operations processed more than 1 million commercial shipments passing through five commercial cargo lots during fiscal 2022, which including handling 654,213 trucks at the Ysleta crossing and 183,743 at the Bridge of the Americas cargo lot. The remainder of area commercial traffic there was processed at cargo facilities at the Presidio, Santa Teresa and Columbus ports.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics from May indicated freight between the U.S. and Mexico totaled $68.7 billion (0.3% higher than in May 2022), with trucks carrying $89.1 billion of freight (up 8.6% compared with the same time period last year). The busiest truck ports with Mexico are in Texas (El Paso and Laredo) and California (Otay Mesa). Top U.S.-Mexico truck freight commodities this year are electrical machinery (valued at $10.8 billion), computers/parts ($9.8 billion) and vehicles/parts ($7.5 billion). Both nations share a 2,000-mile border with 55 active land ports of entry.

This year, Mexico surpassed China to become the top trading partner with the U.S. with total bilateral trade reaching $263 billion during the first four months, noted the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, which is part of the Federal Reserve System.

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